Kirby Ferguson contends that artists and musicians lean on one another. In one way or another, one person's product is another person's raw material..
I am not sure is there is a parallel or overlap with the idea of reincarnation here. At least physically, aren't we all remixes of molecules and atoms that were once-upon-a-time meteorites or cosmic dust? But the problem with reincarnation is that if there are no new souls, then there must have been a pre-determined huge number of souls created. And how could that number be determined?
Similarly, I think we can't say that all works of art are derivative works of art. Kirby makes quite a wide-sweeping statement that gave no credit or allowance for ground zero, baseline, out-of-the-blue creative thinking. Is he saying nothing is original? Come on now. Not all songs sound like songs before, but maybe some do (a lot or a bit). Certainly we adopt and then adapt sometimes. Piggyback songs try to have a good time while borrowing from another song.
Anyway, in the TED video below, Kirby compares some early Bob Dylan tunes with earlier folk songs. The similarities are inescapable. Yet our culture looks at every cultural artifact as being 100% original in every aspect and every angle.
Kirby sees no harm in re-use. But he does not mention about the various Creative Commons labels which allow for many types of re-use and includes re-use with accreditation. When that becomes part of the artistic culture, we may have works whose accreditation goes through several generations of thank-yous and hat-tips.
Here is what Woody Guthrie had to say on the topic:
Kirby's website is everythingisaremix.info.